River City Casino

River City Casino opened this spring near St. Louis.

From Minnesota to Ohio, upgrades, expansions and brand new facilities are sparking the Midwest casino scene. In Illinois, a new casino in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines will open in 2011, while Empress Casino in Joliet will become Hollywood Casino Joliet after renovations are completed at the end of this year. Horseshoe Southern Indiana soon will unveil a Paula Deen Buffet.

Several new casinos opened their doors last year. Among them were FireKeepers in Battle Creek, Mich., River City near St. Louis and Seven Clans Casino Red Lake in Minnesota. Ohio last year passed a constitutional amendment to authorize casino gambling, so visitors to Cincinnati, Toledo and Columbus can begin tempting Lady Luck in 2012. A Cleveland facility opens on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in 2013.